Ambassador to Portugal joining UMKC faculty

Photo courtesy UMKC.

The United States ambassador to Portugal, nominated by President Obama, is leaving that position and coming to UMKC to teach on money and politics.

UMKC announced today that Ambassador Allan J. KatzU.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Portugal, has accepted an appointment as a distinguished professor.Katz is a UMKC graduate.

Beginning this fall, “Katz will teach the timely course “Money and Power:  Incivility and Gridlock in Washington, 1960-present” in the Political Science Department. The course will trace the evolution of presidential campaigns and partisanship from 1960 through President Barack Obama’s precedent-setting operations in ’08 and ’12.  An examination of the role and possible reformation of money in politics will be a central theme of the course,” UMKC says.

We get more details from a UMKC press release.

An attorney, Katz graduated from UMKC in 1969 with a degree in history, and received his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. In 2012, UMKC presented Katz with an honorary degree, Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa, recognizing him as an outstanding alumnus.

In 2009, Katz was nominated by President Obama to serve the United States as Ambassador to Portugal and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Recently, he helped arrange conferences targeting childhood obesity, Holocaust education in Portugal, and strategies for improving American trade abroad. One program Katz helped launch—Access Africa—brings Portuguese and American companies together and helps them conduct business in Africa.

Throughout his professional life, in addition to practicing law, Ambassador Katz has been involved in local, state and federal public policy.

In 2009, Katz was honored by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Florida Wildlife Federation as a “Champion of Climate Change.” He is also proud of establishing and leading the Village Square, an organization that promotes civil discourse and accurate, fact-based debate of divisive issues. Katz believes that such informed conversation is at the root of real democracy.

When he was a student at UMKC, Katz served as student body president and co-founded the Robert F. Kennedy Symposium. Then as now, the free symposiums explored the causes and possible relief of social ills such as poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation and inequality.

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